E. coli outbreak linked to Turlock Chipotle restaurant

November 20, 2015


chipotleTURLOCK —  Two cases of E. coli have been reported at the Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant in Turlock.

The outbreak originated in Washington state and Oregon but has since spread to California, New York, Minnesota and Ohio, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC said were 45 cases reported between Oct. 19 and Nov. 8: 26 in Washington, 13 in Oregeon, two in California, two in Minnesota, and one each in New York and Ohio.

The reported cases in Turlock occurred at Chipotle’s store in the Monte Vista Crossings shopping center.

Researchers believe there is a common ingredient among the cases, but they haven’t isolated it yet. They are investigating the restaurants’ supply chain.

“The epidemiologic evidence available at this time suggests that a common meal item or ingredient served at Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants in several states is a likely source of this outbreak,” the CDC said.

Chipotle closed 43 restaurants in Washington and Oregon when the outbreak was first reported, although actual cases were reported in only 11 restaurants. The company has since re-opened all the restaurants.

On its website, the company said it has been deep cleaning its kitchens and testing equipment and surfaces to determine if E. coli is present. It says none of its employees have gotten sick.

Chipotle has about 1,900 stores nationwide and markets itself as a healthy alternative to typical fast food.

The chain’s stock closed down 12.5 percent Friday on news that the illnesses had spread.

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